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Pongal-O Pongal!

Bring out the rice, milk and jaggery and unearth those dhoti kurtas and saris, the
harvest season’s here again. Pongal is one of the few times of the year we get to see
the original and true spirit of Tamil Nadu, in all its sweet glory. Marking the sacred
beginning of Uttarayan, the sun’s journey northwards, Pongal lasts for four days. The
first, Bhogi, is where old clothes and material are thrown away, symbolizing the start of
a new life. Pongal day is the second, where the traditional dish of pongal is cooked and
the third, Mattu Pongal, is dedicated to honouring and worshiping the cow. The last day,
Kanum Pongal, is spent outdoors with the family…and regretting the fact you have to go
back to work the next day.

Think of Pongal as a mid January, and hotter, Christmas; it’s all about giving. And if
knowing what presents to get isn’t your thing, the sale at Taj Khazana, Numgambakkam
should come in handy. A discount of 15% off on tunics and saris in tussars, chanderi
and linen; there really isn’t much more than you can ask for. If you like keeping
it simple, flowers make a great option, because a bouquet of roses is kind of hard
to say no to. Best part? If you’re out of town, or can’t face the weekday traffic, will deliver their specially crafted gifts to your loved ones for you.

Of course, what says festive event better than all the chow that comes with it. Try a
traditional Pongal Thali at the Dakshin at Alwarpet. Available throughout the day, it’s
priced at Rs.2700. The food festival continues at the Verandah, Egmore, with its lunch
buffet starting at Rs.1200

And finally, we come to the most popular place in the city during Pongal; the zoo. The
Vandalur Zoo sees hundreds of people every year, because apparently spending the
holidays with household pets got too mainstream. In lieu of the occasion, there will
be additional food counters, stalls, and special arrangements made for lion safaris. The zoo
will stay open longer than usual, and it’s highlight, 13 white tigers, will be available for
public viewing on Kannum Pongal. It’s guaranteed to be wild.

Posted in Chennai Things To do, Events

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